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IMMORTAL BELOVED (part1 of 2) February 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amb33 @ 7:51 pm
I am on my way to bocas first stop panama city! I loved Cerro Azul but I must admit it is nice to be back to the comforts of city living ie easy access to anything you could possibly want. Due to some unexpected events (that I won’t dwell on here) I am in the city with 11 hours to kill until I leave for Bocas tonight.
Thank goodness for the Immmortal miss Tanya (more on her below) who turned me on to a cute little hostel called Mamallena (mamallena.com). I stopped by there after storing my enormous bag at the bus station to see if they would let me chill  for the day. I spoke with Victor who was super nice and said I could absolutely hang out here and use their internet and kitchen. THAT WAS HUGE!  Those of you who are raw know that it can be difficult to travel without access to a kitchen. Muy bueno!! So I grabbed up some fruit from a street vendor and returned to the hostel to chow down. I met some very cool people including an English woman who is traveling from Mexico city to Argentina by bicycle. She’s done many long distance bike trips including one from the UK to Singapore. ….. incredible –maybe next year. I also met a lovely couple from the states who had just gotten back from San Blas islands and said they had a fantastic time although they seemed to be very agitated with each other… they were having the hardest time deciding when to do their laundry ahhhh the perils of coupledom.
At Mamallena, I have overcome a significant personal obstacle. I have NEVER been capable of falling asleep in public places. Yes, sometimes a bus or a plane but no parks or subways, beaches or airports etc.  Here I am, sitting on the couch of the hostel snoozing hard between sentences. There are people coming in and out and lots going on, the fact that I can sleep here in the midst of it all truly speaks to the relaxed vibe of the hostel. It is VERY calm despite the fact that there are lots of people around.  There is none of the usual hostel chaos. The  mellow tone is set by the staff who are very calm and exude an air of peaceful steadiness. Unfortunately, I won’t be staying the night but this place is truly fantastic. Needless to say, when I come back through Panama City I’ll be staying here at Mamallena. It is a cute place with a relaxed vibe.
So as I said, Mamallena was suggested to me by this amazing woman I met at the retreat in Cerro Azul. Tanya and her partner Selby are two incredibly wise beings and really helped me to develop a better understanding of this wacky universe and our place within it.

Relaje como un Inmortal en Los Altos de Cerro Azul

They run a program called Immortal Kindergarten and it is really an amazing way of working on self for the benefit of all beings. Check out their website www.immortalkindergarten.net . It is an incredibly transformative method of managing our spiritual selves using the four elements. Their philosophy is based on teachings of Leonard Orr. They believe that we are all immortal…. Right now we are immortal.  Some say to live as though you were dying, but what would it look like if we lived as though we were immortal?  It is definitely something to think about.  It  is pretty powerful.  

If you are able to maintain an open mind, these practices hold incredible possibilities for self rejuvenation and spiritual development. The practices utilize the four elements water, air, fire and earth. It is believed across cultures that these elements of existence hold great importance to the human spirit. Selby and Tanya are sharing some specific practices to cleanse our spiritual selves from blockages that are created from birth. I have read their book “the script” it is amazing the ideas are simple but overlooked by our culture. So, check out their site, opt into their blog and if you are interested in learning more I STRONGLY suggest the book you won’t be disappointed.  In case you haven’t noticed I fell in love with these two and their practices.  It just made sense to me.  Let me know what you think!
Ok, I am off to do some grocery shopping to get some staples before I head to the islands. So thrilled that I have the opportunity to explore a little more of this great city before my bus tonight!!



PIE FOR BREAKFAST February 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amb33 @ 5:00 pm

I am sitting in a beautiful window seat overlooking lush green jungle eating paradise pie for breakfast -how blessed am I?! My first paradise pie creation: papaya guava pie with plum jam these pies are SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS. The beauty of these pies is that they are completely natural no artificial anything, no excess fat or sugar, no flour, nothing but goodness!!!! When I get home you’ll have to come over and get you some!

Yesterday, Aris and I went to Panama City. It has been a while since I’ve even left the jungle so it was nice to get “off the island” so to speak. It was a bit over stimulating at first especially with the change in air pressure and the smog but so worth it. I fell in love with the city. We were in the neighborhood that guide books warn you against but I was in heaven! The music, the beautiful people milling about with no particular place to go, the ambiguous shops selling everything from thermoses to saddles.

I bought a $6 swimsuit and a $16 machete. Oh yes friends that’s right I am now the proud owner of a machete. It is mostly for cutting open coconuts and of course bushwhacking if the opportunity arises. I got to watch the shopkeeper sharpen it and everything! BLISS seriously this place is fantastic!

Aris and I got on the bus to Cerro Azul after a long day in the city. It was hot and sweaty and immediately I cursed the fact that I didn’t bring my ipod. I needed to escape…..I then remembered my teachings at the Shambhala Center in Burlington and realized that rather than escape I could remain fully present in the moment even if somewhat uncomfortable. I decided to experiment with tonglin meditation. Inspired partly by the lovely Ashonda (one of three true angels I’ve met here at sunfire) and by the Tibetan book of living and dying. So I expanded the feelings I was experiencing and breathed in all of my discomfort and agitation. I then breathed out a blessing. This turned to my blessing every person on the van and picturing a beautiful rosy light pouring all over each of us and out the windows to the houses we passed. I breathed in and breathed out a wish that everyone on the bus would experience a little magic in their lives and for beautiful things to happen to them. So I’ll never know if that meditation practice had any affect but I am pretty sure that I for one was glowing when we finally reached our destination and began the walk home.

A couple links for info on tonglin: http://www.innerself.com/Meditation/weiss_andrew_60604.htm) http://www.whitecranejournal.com/wc01065.htm

Last and definitely least…. I decided it was time to do something about my hair. It has been severely damaged, knotted and borderline matted out here. I thought of just cutting it all off for a few moments but my commitment issues prevented that impulse. So, also inspired by aforementioned beautiful one, Ashonda, I spent four hours braiding my hair the other day. No it isn’t boderek-esque and I don’t love it but hopefully it’ll grow on me. It is MUCH MUCH easier! So braids it is probably for the rest of my trip.

As for today, Aris and I will do some work on the theories behind Sunfired cuisine as well as healing properties of raw foods. There is a beautiful woman here working on an organic garden and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn with her and get my hands dirty. I‘ll bring my machete out just in case !!!



Scorpion Queen January 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amb33 @ 1:40 pm
I am loving Panama– Cerro Azul to be exact is an amazing mountain sanctuary in the jungle. I actually caught a SCORPION by myself this morning. I’d like to say I was very brave but the truth is, there was lots of girly squealing! I am here studying with raw food guru Dr Aris Latham at his new spot. It has been a great so far hearing his story is inspiring and the man can work his way around the kitchen! He also has an extensive library with over 10,000 books. I should know I helped unpack all of them and put them on their shelves. I was in HEAVEN being a serious librophile. I think I have a future as a librarian!I am currently skimming several books and committed to reading four: on by ram das, Gabriel cousens, krishnamurti and the poisonwood bible.

This place is incredible!! I swim in the river daily -sometimes with a suit ;O There is nooooo one around its just me and the butterflies. I went for a run in the warm rain this afternoon and stopped for an impromptu dance party in the middle of the jungle. Footloose requires a little high knee wild arm action. Singing and dancing in the rain in the middle of the jungle I am so lucky to be alive.

I have to say I am completely spoiled with all of this great fresh fruit and all of these heavy hitting appliances I have yet to purchase ie Excalibur and Vitamix. I am seriously in love! The Excalibur is my #1 When I get home the Craigslist American Harvest I bought on a whim last year is getting the heave ho! Sorry baby, its been fun but I have bigger fish to fry….. Er crackers to dehydrate?

a feast of pizza, high green salad and curry plantains

friends feasting


I have all kinds of great ideas that are literally bursting from my brain I am just trying to keep up. I am really excited to take all of this sunfired knowledge back home with me…. eventually.

Until then, there is more traveling to be done. I am soaking up this easeful vibe and getting ready to depart in a couple of weeks to travel around panama and possibly costa rica and who knows where else. I am also thinking of going to Vilacamba Ecuador for the raw food gathering in April. I know I said I’d be home but I get out here and I just can’t bear the idea of returning to the frigid northeast. If anyone wants to join me I’d love it! Memere that includes you! Surfing, snorkeling and much beach bumming are on the itinerary. My girl Kaffka should be joining me soon to hit up Bocas and CARNIVAL!

As my time with Aris dwindles, I will be looking forward to finding ingenious ways to live the raw lifestyle on the road. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I never thought I’d say this but it may get old eating coconut and mango every day. Thanks to Aris and his mostly fruitarian lifestyle, I am not too worried about eating only fruit since that is what we do from 5am-12 here. No problemo. Although, I have to admit, sometimes a girl needs a big ol nut burger!!


ALYSSA IS ALIVE! January 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amb33 @ 5:36 pm

Welcome to my blog dedicated to all things living!!! 

This blog is written in the spirit of embracing life.  I am thoroughly enjoying my newest adventure of living foods and lively travel !!

Living fully is about accepting every experience with grace and meeting all that we encounter with a kind smile and loving heart. 

Smile Big!!